The Law Offices of Ossie Brown
P 225-424-7388

Drug and Alcohol Database to Roll Out in the Fall of 2015

People who live in Baton Rouge have good reason to be concerned about the dangers associated with commercial drivers operating large vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Impaired driving alone is a serious risk that can result in personal injury, disabilities and even fatalities to victims. Accidents involving large trucks like semi-trucks and 18-wheelers are especially dangerous due to the great size and weight of these vehicles.

When a large vehicle and an impaired driver are combined, the chances of a deadly result can only increase. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is taking action to help reduce the chances that impaired drivers can operate commercial vehicles.

What is the Clearinghouse?

Referred to as the Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rule, the Commercial Carrier Journal describes this effort as centered around creating a database that will house critical information for commercially licensed drivers. The proposed database will include information about any citations and convictions for impaired driving, substance test failures and refusals to participate in substance testing.

Some of the key elements of this program include the following:

  • All trucking carriers must conduct a pre-hire screening in the database of every applicant, with a full review of all records included.
  • The pre-hire screening can only be done after receiving written consent from job candidates.
  • Drivers must also pass drug and alcohol testing before being hired.
  • Any test that shows positive results for drugs or alcohol, or any refusal to take a test, must be reported to the database.
  • Owner operators must utilize third parties to manage and report data to the database.

After drivers are hired, annual reviews of the database records must be conducted. Once again, owner operators will need to utilize third parties for this. The database is scheduled to be available by early 2016.

A National Problem

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that fatalities in impaired driving accidents rose between 2011 and 2012. Overall, 9,865 people across the country died in such accidents in 2011. Of those, 43 were killed in crashes involving large trucks like tractor-trailer rigs.

In 2012, the total number of drunk driving deaths in the nation rose by 4.6 percent to 10,322, but the total number of drunk driving deaths in large truck accidents rose by a whopping 86 percent. That year, 80 lives were lost in large truck collisions involving impaired drivers.

What Else Can Be Done?

While the federal government works hard to improve safety and prevent impaired drivers from operating commercial vehicles, every person must be prepared to take action if involved in a serious accident. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible after any incident is recommended to help protect rights and determine possible compensation.

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The Law Offices of Ossie Brown
123 Saint Ferdinand Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Phone: 225-424-7388
Fax: 225-334-7824
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